Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Association: Brave New World - Shakespeare

In addition to reading Brave New World, we decided to offer an optional read for Shakespeare's sonnets and plays. We originally did it because it's the Bard's birthday this month, but strangely enough it turns out that his works are quoted constantly in BNW. So, Bill himself will be our theme this week with some of his works that were mentioned in BNW.

Troilus and Cressida - Shakespeare's darker version of Romeo and Juliet follows two Trojans who fall in love during the War.

Timon of Athens - A tale of rich young man who spends his money on his friends and when he subsequently becomes impoverished, he starts to despise humanity. Not touted as one of the Bard's finest, but worth checking out.

King John - Whenever I think King John, I think of the lion from Disney's Robin Hood. Not fair, but there it is. One of the Bard's lesser recognized plays, this one is said to lack the drama he usually inspires.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Ok I have to admit, I added this one due to the fact it's my favorite out of the plays I have read and seen by Shakespeare. Is it Puck and his shenanigans ? Nick Bottom running around with a donkey's head while Titania moons over him? All of it!

The Tempest - The very title of Brave New World comes from this play. It's ironic, comparing the experiences of Miranda when she sees people for the first time (The Tempest) with plight of John  (BNW) once he reaches "civilization."

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't. 
 Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206

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